Hot weather awaits Irishmen
Friday, January 02 2009 @ 05:57 am ACDT
Contributed by: Brett Northey
Many challenges await Irish Gaelic games players when recruited to AFL clubs. Full time training, a different shaped ball, a whole new country. Part of that change is the weather. Despite Australia occupying an entire continent with varying weather patterns, heat is the one thing in common. Summer is always hot - very hot.
That's something that Adelaide's recent recruit Brian Donnelly has only just had a sample of. After several weeks training with the South Australian team, the 20 year old from County Louth has experienced what has been an unusually mild start to the Adelaide summer. Maximum temperatures have rarely gone above 27 degrees, leaving more than a few locals grumbling about the lack of beach weather (although a few rainy days have been welcome respite from the drought).
Donnelly is 193cm and 82kg and the Adelaide Crows have so far been impressed with his abilities, though recruiting manager Matt Rendell has said the club would be happy if he holds down half back or centre-half back in the SANFL Reserves in 2009 (he has been mini-drafted to Glenelg), perhaps breaking through for a few SA League games; obviously Adelaide are not expecting his AFL debut this year.
The import is quoted in the article Irish recruit hot to trot as not thinking the weather so far has been mild and saying "It's pretty warm for me. I heard it gets up over 40 degrees Celsius, so [when it does] I'll be hiding". It will be a tough pre-season for him if the usual summer kicks in - extended periods with daily maxima above 35 degrees and occasional peaks of over 42. Last March had what news reports described as an "unenviable" Australian capital city record of 15 successive days of 35 or more, with one report citing a climate model that suggested it was a 1 in 3000 year event. No doubt Donnelly will be happy if it's that long before the next one strikes.
Also more on Donnelly in Irishman hammers out new football life, in which he discusses the step up in training required for the AFL.